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John Laurie Mr.

Haferbecker, R3 Senior Thesis 5/8/2012 The History of Rhetoric Men have been speaking to one another since the beginning of time. Speech is an innate faculty of mankind. Babies are born with the ability to speak. Admittedly, this ability develops as they grow into toddlers and from thence into young adults, but it is present when they are first born. Now, it is natural for man to desire to better himself. No man wants to be looked upon with contempt by his peers or associates. Men want to speak well. They want to speak effectively. In fact, the science of speaking well has been given its own name: rhetoric. Men know the power of words. Soon after the genesis of mankind on earth, all men came together and determined to build themselves an enormous tower to reach up to heaven. God saw how dangerous mankind could be if they were united. What did he do? He confused their language. Mans greatest asset in unity was the common tongue. Language gave men titanic power. Scripture tells us that the tongue is like a rudder. It is a small part, but it can steer the whole ship. It is like a little flame that starts a whole forest ablaze. Our culture seems to cheapen words. We say sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. This is a ridiculous claim. A bruise sustained from a stick or stone will pass in a week or two. An injury that results from an unkind or untrue word might stay with us for months or even years. Words, not actions, have the power to destroy and to build. To persuade or to dissuade. To stir up, or to calm down. Since the beginning of time, men have been using words to achieve their ends.

Some of the earliest recorded manuscripts treat of the art of speaking well. Young men in ancient Egypt were taught to defend themselves in a court of law. Their textbook was the Protestations of Guiltlessness, copies of which have survived to this day. It taught them basic methods of persuasion as well as methods of rhetorical embellishment. The Code of Hammurabi was a Babylonian law code that was used in Babylonian courts. At that point, the office of lawyer did not exist. Each man had to fend for himself in the courtroom. Therefore, one can safely assume that the Babylonians were instructed in the art of speaking effectively. After all, if your life might someday depend on your ability to convince a judge in a courtroom, you will likely devote a significant portion of your time to honing your innate ability of speech. Fast forward several thousand years to Classical Greece, one of historys greatest civilizations. Men in Athens learned the art of rhetoric by observation and imitation. They would observe the master orators of the day speaking in the court or the forum and imitate their arguments and delivery styles in their day to day lives. In Syracuse, men were compelled to become proficient in the art of rhetoric by circumstances beyond their control. When the tyrannical Sicilian ruler, Thrasybulus, was overthrown, political turmoil ensued. Men were forced to take up their own court cases to maintain their property rights and even their lives. As a result, master orators began to instruct the young men of Syracuse in the art of rhetoric for a small fee. Two such men were Corax and Tisias. Soon Corax and Tisias found that there were too many applicants vying for too few seats in their classes. As a result, they began to compose self-help pamphlets treating of rhetoric. These were anything but comprehensive. One might discuss how to arouse pity in your audience, another might treat of how to portray your opponent in an unfavorable light, and yet another might discuss how to formulate a logical argument. Other orators caught on and began publishing similar handbooks and pamphlets. Soon, Athens

was positively swimming with these paperback treasure troves of knowledge from the masters of the day. This was dry, content centered, rhetoric. J.F. Dobson writes, They were taught a large number of commonplace topics and standard arguments suitable to all kinds of legal processes. They do not appear to have paid any attention to style on the literary side (Dobson, The Beginnings of Oratory). One might call this the age of technical rhetoric: rhetoric taught by rules. After technical rhetoric came sophistical rhetoric. Sophistical rhetoric laid less emphasis than technical rhetoric on the content of the rhetoricians speech, and more emphasis on the caliber of his delivery. Indeed, so obsessed were the sophists with their delivery and style, that they learned speeches like lines from a play. They memorized popular orations and performed them for each other. Perhaps the greatest sophistical rhetorician was Gorgias. He was almost a poet. Scholar J.F. Dobson writes of Gorgias, while continuing to regard rhetoric as the art of persuasion, he attached more attention to the artistic side than any other educator had done. He became the first conscious artist in prose style (Dobson, The Beginning of Oratory). His speeches sometimes utilized elaborate rhyme schemes and poetic rhythm. He defined rhetoric as the art of persuasion in the courts of law and other assemblies. His sophistical rhetoric was popular, but not universally so. Plato, the famous Greek philosopher and devotee of Socratic rhetoric, condemned Gorgias rhetoric as elaborate flattery. He argued that Gorgias did not concern himself with the truth, but rather with persuasion. This claim was, to a degree, valid. By Gorgias definition of rhetoric, a man might convince someone of something entirely erroneous if he expressed himself eloquently enough. Professor Barry Sandywell of Hartford Seminary writes, By the end of the fourth century B.C.E., however, it was construed more narrowly as the art of "sophistical disputation" or the use of verbal strategies to win an argument irrespective of issues of truth and falsity. (Sandywell, Rhetoric) This was the greatest danger of sophistical

rhetoric. The ignorant man could convince the ignorant masses if he utilized aesthetically pleasing artistic flourishes and embellishments. The next school of oratory was the philosophical school. Technical rhetoric emphasized the content of the speech, and sophistical rhetoric emphasized the speaker and his delivery. What did philosophical rhetoric stress? The audience. A philosophical rhetoricians first concern was his hearers. The greatest philosophical rhetorician, the man who has been dubbed the Father of Oratory, was Aristotle himself, Greeces greatest thinker. Aristotle has been given the title The Father of Oratory because his rhetorical techniques and philosophies informed experts on the subject for centuries after he died. Christoff Rapp, professor of oratory at Stanford University, writes, Aristotle's Rhetoric has had an enormous influence on the development of the art of rhetoric. Not only authors writing in the peripatetic tradition, but also the famous Roman teachers of rhetoric, such as Cicero and Quintilian, frequently used elements stemming from the Aristotelian doctrine. In addition, Aristotle was the first rhetorician to compile his entire theory of rhetoric into a comprehensive work. This was his Treatise on Rhetoric. In this work, Aristotle defines rhetoric as the faculty of observing, in any given situation, the available means of persuasion. The good rhetorician, according to Aristotle, observes his audience. He admits that one must have a substantive speech and possess rhetorical skill. However, he emphasizes the hearer over these other two elements. In the third chapter of his Rhetoric he writes: of the three elements in speech-making -- speaker, subject, and person addressed -- it is the last one, the hearer, that determines the speech's end and object. He analyzes who he is speaking to, and the setting in which he is speaking. In fact, he is a veritable crowd pleaser. He proposes wooing the audience before attempting to persuade them. J. Rahm writes of Aristotle that he exhorted rhetors to endear themselves to the audiencespecifically, to know the audiences sentiment in

order to align with it emotionally (Rahm, Aristotles Rhetor). Audience analysis is Aristotles cardinal rhetorical doctrine. Drawing from his experience and his knowledge of rhetoric, he formulates a logical argument based on his knowledge of his hearers. Rhetoric in the Aristotelian fashion requires the orator to analyze the context in which he is speaking. This is vitally important to good rhetoric. After all, if one is trying to stir soldiers to battle, one ought not to utilize pithy jokes. Conversely, if one is making a toast at an open microphone at a wedding, one should avoid detailed logical arguments. The circumstances dictate the oration. The last great classical orator was Cicero. Cicero was a brilliant Roman orator; in fact he composed seven different works on the subject. Ciceros rhetoric synthesized technical, sophistical, and philosophical rhetoric. He might be called rhetorics happy medium. He said that the aim of the orator was to discover how to convince the persons whom he wishes to persuade and how to arouse their emotions. We can see elements of all three schools of rhetoric in that definition. The speech must be substantive if it is to persuade, the orator must be eloquent if he is to arouse emotion, and the orator must analyze the persons whom he wishes to persuade. Ciceros rhetorical philosophy is effectively summated in this quote: Wisdom without eloquence has been of little help to the state, and eloquence without wisdom has oftentimes proved to be a great obstacle and never an advantage. Rhetoric has clearly played a major role in mankinds history. Every man uses rhetoric in his day to day life, be he old or young, male or female, rich or poor. Rhetoric is an innate ability. Over the years, master rhetoricians have manipulated the rough gem that is the ability to speak and, slowly but surely, faceted and polished it till it shone and scintillated. History is filled with examples of master orators long after the fall of the mighty Roman empire. Winston Churchill, George Whitfield, even the criminal and tyrant Adolph Hitler possessed immense skill in the art

of rhetoric. Words have shaped the history of the world. Words have sent fleets to the high seas. Words have stirred the hearts of men to rebellion. Words have a life of their own. They can express love, hate, anger, jealousy, or determination. We are here, largely, because of words and words will propel us into the future. If they are to carry us down the path that we desire to travel on, we must learn to control them rather than let them control us. How? By diligent study and practice of the art of rhetoric. Unfortunately, in our modern society, rhetoric has fallen from favor. Its become a dirty word. Radio host Mark Levin constantly tells callers on his show to cool the rhetoric. The following is an analysis of the place of rhetoric in our culture and an expostulation to the good citizen and the good Christian to recognize the value and power of words and use them for the benefit of society as a whole. * * *

The Power of the Spoken Word How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire that no man can tame! (English Standard Version Bible, James 3:5-6, 8). The tongue is a powerful thing; the word can build, destroy, unite, divide, harm, or heal. However, our culture has, to a degree, demeaned the value and power of language. In the seventies, crowds flooded to the cinema to watch Hitchcock thrillers that utilized brilliant dialogue to disturb, enchant, and entrance us. Nowadays, the masses revel in horror films where these effects are produced by gruesome special effects. Inspirational posters sporting the slogan An action is worth a thousand words! plaster the walls in day care centers and kindergarten classrooms. The deed ascends to the podium, and the word acts as a benchwarmer. But it has not always been this way. When

oppressed blacks wanted change in the twentieth century, Martin Luther King Jr. ascended the steps of the Lincoln memorial and delivered a stirring speech to the crowds. However, in our day and age, the discontented 99% shake cardboard signs in the air and attack police officers to make themselves known. Hit pop song Show me Love by Robin Sparkles features the lyric: Youve got to show me love; words are so easy to say, oh ah yeah, there aint nothin you can say, you gotta show me that you love me! The word has become significantly less powerful. We do not trust the word as we once did. The word has become almost obsolete. We live in the age of action. Our modern American culture has cheapened the spoken word, and enthroned the action: the physical manifestation of what used to be expressed through language. We do rather than say. I stood in the doorway of Pioneer Place Mall for two hours last week, and asked each person entering or exiting the atrium the following question: Is it true that actions speak louder than words? I asked two hundred and eighteen people. Two hundred and nine answered with an emphatic yes, six answered maybe. Only three people believed that actions did not necessarily speak louder than words. This is a clear indication of the typical American stance on this matter. Now, actions are far from worthless. Empty promises, however elegantly worded, are meaningless. We must act on what we say. As a Christian, I confess weekly that I have sinned against God in word and deed. Both words and actions have meaning in Gods eyes. A righteous man ought to do and say the right thing. Both ought to be meaningful to the believer and nonbeliever alike. However, the word has an immense amount of power. The spoken word, in many ways, is as potent and powerful as the outward action.

It is vital that we understand this. People who do not understand the power of words can be improvident and feckless in what they say. Proverbs 26:18 tells us Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who insults his neighbor and says, I was only joking!. This man is dangerous; he is a menace to society. His behavior is compared to standing in the streets flinging torches into houses and firing arrows through windows. He does not understand the power of the spoken word. He feels that a simple only joking! can repair any damage that his hurtful words might have inflicted on his fellow man. This belief is erroneous. Anyone who has been insulted or slighted can testify that words leave a mark. In fact, one of the leading causes of teen suicide is bullying. The father of a young man who took his life as a result of constant slander at school said to a news reporter from News Channel 5 Verbal abuse is as bad as or worse than physical abuse (Ascot, Parents of Gay Teen Say School Bullying Caused Suicide). We ought to be careful with what we say; we have the power to cause incalculable damage with the words we choose. Likewise, words have the power to heal and to build up. We should not simply avoid saying hurtful things. Rather, we should strive to say that which builds up and strengthens our fellow man. Many a general has rallied his flagging troops with a stirring speech filled with pathos and patriotism. Political and societal activists use powerful oratory to stir citizens to action against the corruption and flaws in the governmental structure of our civilization. Men like Henry V, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Junior, and Ronald Reagan have made a difference with words. Their words made a lasting impact on society. Without King Henrys stirring speech on the morning of Crispins day, would his troops have fought to the bitter end? Perhaps not; and what then? The French would have emerged victorious. The very course of history would have been altered had the brave king of England

failed to speak up. Henry V understood that words have true power. He understood that he could not stand quietly by during the time of need. Martin Niemoller wrote of the Nazi rise to power: First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me. We cannot become so afraid of the potency of words that we avoid using them entirely. We must use them skillfully and diplomatically; we must use them as a salve for the wounds that we, or others, have inflicted on society. As my project, I plan to compose and deliver four speeches. Each one will have a definite agenda with specific points to make. I will do my utmost to make these points effectively, and will accompany each of the four speeches with a written analysis of my rhetorical strategies in either drafting or presentation. Hopefully, by so doing, I will further demonstrate the power of the spoken word. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his famous Nothing to Fear address to the people, spoke these words: With great power comes great responsibility. Jesus himself said to the disciples, To whom much is given much will be expected. We have been given great power. In the earths infancy, God saw that words gave man too much power. Words were mankinds bands that tied them together. All men spoke the same language, and in their unified pride they resolved to build a tower to heaven that they might be equal with God. God understood that without words, they would be unable to erect this temple to vanity and ambition. Therefore, he confused their languages and they scattered across the face of the earth. Words are potent things. In the beginning of time, the three persons of the Godhead spoke creation into

being. Words formed the sky, words formed the dry land, words formed the creatures, words formed the plants, words formed the rain and the flowers and the heather and the lightning. Words caused fish to swim through the water, birds to soar through the air, and enormous herds of Bison to stampede across the vast expanses of the Great Plains. All the grandeur of creation; mountain heights and valley depths; the clouds far above and the deep, dark, crevices in the ocean floor; all of these were created in a moment by Gods words. We are created in Gods image. Therefore our words have power just as his have power. Clearly, we cannot speak things into being or command the creation with our tongues. However, we can make a difference with our words; they hold an immense amount of weight when properly employed. Proverbs 18:21 states that Death and Life are in the power of the tongue. We have the power to build up and to destroy. We are not politicians with vast resources. We are not five-star generals with enormous armies at our command. We are the laymen, the common people. However, the common people have a voice, and it will be heard. Our task, as citizens of Christendom and this earthly nation, is to use our collective voice wisely and constructively. We ought to shun the firebrand flinging madman in all of us, and embrace our inner Henry V. It is vital to understand the power of words. Without that discernment; without that knowledge, we would be unable to harness their awesome power and use them to build up and to heal. A speaker whose identity is a mystery once stated: The language we use to communicate with one another is like a knife. In the hands of a careful and skilled surgeon, a knife can work to do great good. But in the hands of a careless or ignorant person, a knife can cause great harm. Exactly as it is with our words. Let us take up the verbal knife to do good rather than evil. Let us use it to cut through the ropes of oppression, corruption, and wickedness. Words have the power to achieve whatever ends they are put to, but only if they are used correctly. Before you speak a word, you control it. After you speak it, it

controls you. Our task is clear, but the way is hard. We must think before we speak, and when we do speak we must do so with good intentions. Its a scary thing to speak up. Vocalization of ideals and principles is a thorny business. However, there are no roses in improvident silence. With this in mind, I have composed a series of four speeches which aim to demonstrate the power of the word; the power to build up, the power to persuade, the power to manipulate the emotions and the heart. The texts of the four speeches, in tandem with analyses of the rhetorical devices therein that make them effective, are included here. * * *

The Lost Generation: Speech Text Nearly one hundred years ago, our entire world was catapulted into a vicious and bloody war. New weapons technology, mad fanaticism, cultural clashes, and the concept of total war resulted in massive casualties. Hundreds of thousands of brave, patriotic, inexperienced young men were mowed down in a hail of machine gun fire and tear gas. The result was what historians have christened the Age of the Lost Generation. This referred to the generation of men ages sixteen to twenty two that was essentially eliminated from the face of the earth during the course of The Great War. The result was a massive drop in population (especially in the country of Great Britain) and a host of widows and single women with no men to provide for and protect them. It was a grim age. This feels very distant to us. We live in a safe, comfortable country. Most of us have not had to undergo the trauma of losing a loved one to the horrors of war. However, we are in another Age of the Lost Generation. We have a host of single women, either unmarried or divorced, on our hands. Young men in the room, permit me to ask you a somewhat prying

question. Why is this the case? There are clearly multiple factors that contribute to this phenomenon. For instance, cohabitation and divorce have become more and more socially acceptable as the years have progressed. However, there is another more malignant force at work here; a force that ultimately contributes to the gradual societal numbing to the travesties of cohabitation and the termination of marriage without due cause. The majority of our young men ages sixteen to twenty two are just as incapable of providing for a family as were the honored dead after World War I. They have fallen victim, not to the ravages of weapons and Nazi fanaticism, but to the ravages of culture. Our cultural mandate states that you never have to grow up. PlayStation ads feature twenty three year old males playing Call of Duty as if they had nay a care in the world. Exclusive relationships are no longer the norm; men are unwilling to be tied down. Most young men see a wedding ring as a ball and chain that keeps them from their party hard lifestyle. We are living in the Age of the Lost Generation. Admittedly, our situation is not as bad as that of the British nation with the vast majority of its young, male population decimated. Things are far from hopeless in our culture. There are still many good, mature men left. However, that is fast become the exception to the rule. We have lost the principles of responsibility and commitment to the allure of media and popular culture. The family is an institution that is just as outdated as the Spanish Inquisition or the Knights of the Round Table. This in turn has led to societal decay. Children of separated parents are statistically more likely to be unemployed and wind up in prison than children that come from families with two parents. Alimony disputes flood our courts. Our society is sick. The symptoms are easy to spot, but the disease seems nigh on incurable. It permeates our culture, and spreads, slowly but surely, across the entirety of our social order.

What can we do, we who see the problem and want to see it rectified? All we can do is refuse to accept the cultural mandate. We are called to be a city on a hill, a light to the world. Admittedly, it can sometimes seem hopeless. We are hopelessly outnumbered. However, we are called to maturity and responsibility by Scripture itself. And if God is for us, who can be against us? This is one of the finest opportunities that Christians have ever had to live out their faith. The darker the room, the more noticeable the candle. And please, young men specifically, do not think that I am speaking to you as a superior. I am as bad as or worse than all of you when it comes to stepping up to the plate and being the man so to speak. However, I can still adjure you, as I strive alongside you, to understand that there will come a day when each and every one of you will be the man of the house. That day may seem far away now, but the next five years of our lives will pass more quickly than we can possibly imagine. I can remember when I was fifteen. It feels like yesterday. That was three years ago. Three years from now, Ill be twenty one and Ill be able to look back on today and feel like it was yesterday. Time flies, whether youre having fun or not. Id implore you to spend less time having fun and more time preparing yourselves to be men; its something that I need plenty of work on. However, if we work together and remain steadfast, we can escape the shackles of our culture. We can stand firm against norms and accepted standards. I speak to everyone now. We can be the city on a hill. By living as responsible, committed, hardworking men and women we can make a difference in the world. If we give it our all, our tears, sweat and prayers, then maybe The Lost Generation might not be so lost after all. * * *

The Lost Generation: Speech Analysis

This speech was interesting to write. It is significantly different from typical political oratories since it mainly concerns only a portion of the population. Admittedly, there is all call to responsibility and maturity that can speak to any hearer, but the call to spend less time having fun and more time manning up applies specifically to young men who are going to someday be in the position of husband and father. I wrote the speech with my target group in mind, therefore the bulk of the speech is written in such a manner that it will hopefully resound with and speak to adolescent males provided that they have been rendered attentive (which Aristotle himself posits as highly important in a speech) by the opening section. My first paragraph aimed at my target groups emotions by evoking images of war. War always speaks more directly to young men than to young women. Up until very recently, there were no female soldiers. The men would go off to war in order to keep their wives, daughters, and sisters safe. This has become an innate male conviction; it is their place to go to war. They feel obligated and proud to go to war to keep their country, their homes, and their loved ones safe. They feel a sense of fraternity with the brave men who are being mowed down in a hail of machine gun fire and tear gas. The image tugs at their heartstrings, so to speak. Since their emotions are engaged, they feel motivated to listen more carefully. The second paragraph aims directly at the sense of responsibility and protectiveness that is innate in all men. When a man is faced with the harsh reality that there are a host of divorced or unmarried women in his country who are struggling to feed themselves and their children, he is motivated to do something to rectify this social problem. He wont go out and marry the first widow he finds, but he might get off of the couch and work at the Portland Rescue Mission for a day. I also target the male ethos. There are a lot of men who are subconsciously aware that they have never grown up, but many of them refuse to consciously accept that fact unless it stares

them in the face. However, when their underlying mentality is laid bare before their own eyes and the eyes of society they are more ashamed and aware of what they are doing that is wrong. My last appeal to the male ethos came in the final paragraph. I equated our struggle with the corrupting influences in society that had caused this phenomenon of immaturity and unpreparedness for real life as a titanic struggle that would ultimately result in a much-needed societal rehabilitation. This appeals to most men. Men are attracted by the me versus the world mentality as a result of the simple fight instinct that is part of the male ethos. At times, this tendency can result in stubbornness and unnecessary chauvinism. However, in this case it does not necessarily lead to unnecessary or immoral chauvinism. Hopefully, it leads the reader to a conviction that there is an illness in society, and that he is one of the few things preventing the illness from spreading into every corner of society. The Lost Generation speech aims to facilitate social change and raise awareness about a real, prominent, malignant social disease. It mainly targets the young men in the rising generation, and adjures them to act in order to rescue our civilization from the prevailing work as little as possible, eat as much as possible mentality. It aims to achieve these ends (if my theory on the power of language is correct and the speech was well written and delivered) by evoking images and exploring problems that speak very directly to this particular target audience. The speech is primarily content driven. That is not to say that delivery is unimportant, but it should not be so over-done that it detracts from the actual words of the speech. The words themselves are where I believe an immense amount of power lies, and I hope that these words can convince others of my position. If I succeed, it is a clear demonstration of the sheer power of language alone.

James and Johnny: Speech Text Several weeks ago, I did something that went directly against one of my deepest convictions: I bought something at a store other than Goodwill; a two piece suit no less! However, as loathe as I was to fork out a large quantity of money, I was in a hurry and desperately needed something that fit. I needed selection. I needed convenience. I needed a department store. So, I drove (albeit reluctantly) to Washington Square Mall, squared my shoulders, and marched into JC Penney. The inevitable forty minute where-in-heavens-nameis-the-mens-section search ensued (during which time I was plied with offers of chocolate, perfume, and jewelry by several rather imposing female salespersons). Finally, as I came to the top of the second-floor escalator, I spotted a sports jacket on the far wall, hanging under a battered sign that read Burberry. I dodged several disgruntled shoppers, dodged a fearsome looking gentleman who was selling remote control helicopters, and finally reached my safe haven; the suit department. Now, the suit department in a store like JC Penneys is the forgotten zone; the Narnia that you can only find by taking several turns around corners that you never knew existed. The racks and hangers are battered, the mirrors are so old that the glass is rippled, and the corners on the linoleum countertops are worn smooth with age. However, the practiced observer will notice that everything is spotlessly clean and meticulously organized, if a little dated. Stepping into the suit section in JC Penney is rather like stepping into a time machine that takes you back to the 1940s. However, more than the battered racks or the rippled mirrors or the ancient countertops, the salesmen themselves are true relics of what America used to be. As I approached the register, two old gentlemen named Johnny and James approached me. Johnny was a very tall and thin gentleman, with a large grey handlebar mustache and a cheerful, red

face. He looked rather like Santa Claus on the Subway Diet. James was a shorter, portly man with black hair and bright green eyes. Both were dressed impeccably in Italian suits, complete with every accessory known to the well-dressed man: watches, pocket squares, tie tacks, cuff links, and collar studs. They both sported measuring tapes around their necks and tucked into their jackets, and they were both very eager to help. They swept me off to the wool-suit section, sized me up, handed me seven suits to try on, and fetched me a shirt and tie in under one minute. I tried on the suits, they commented on the pros and cons of each (cracking jokes all the while and calling me young man or pal or John), we came to an agreement on the nicest of the 7, a black, two piece Alfani, and they rang me up and sent me home with a wave and a cheerful cry of come back any time!. The entire process lasted less than 15 minutes, and for the first time in my life I almost wished that a sale had lasted longer. As I was leaving, I met the store manager. He asked me if I had found everything alright, and I told him that I had, with the help of James and Johnny. He responded, Oh! Those two, theyre something arent they? Part of the old world. That resonated with me all the way home: Part of the old world. So, today, as odd as it sounds, Id like to praise suit salesmen. Not because they helped me find a nice suit, not simply because they were gifted salesmen (although that is indeed true). I would like to applaud them for keeping the old America alive in the corner of JC Penney. I would like to thank them, quite simply, for being a reminder of what our culture used to be. A society that valued professionalism, dignity, style, etiquette, and things that were made to last. Nowadays, change is all the rage. Change is a fad. The Jamess and the Johnnys of the world are the ultimate social preservationists. Environmentalists protect the beauty of nature from the ravages of industry; James and Johnny have carefully preserved a 10 by 20 plot of classy, twentieth century America, tucked into the corner of a mall. They are out of sight and out of mind. They wage their war on

dust and grime without so much as a thank-you from anyone. However, they taught me something valuable. It isnt too late to go back. There are still sanctuaries from the hustle and bustle of national change and progressivism. There are still anchors to the past, thin threads that continue holding on. James and Johnny arent just salespeople, theyre pieces of history. They are a testimony to the sophistication that America once enjoyed. It isnt too late for a cultural renaissance; we still have James and Johnny. We still have some suit salesmen left. * * *

James and Johnny: Speech Analysis The efficacy of this speech, in contrast to The Lost Generation, is largely dependent on the speakers delivery. The entire piece reads like an editorial at the end of a National Review magazine, if proper signposting is not employed. However, with the proper balance of changes of pace, variations of tone, and gestures, it can be a very effective speech. The first section moves right along at a respectable clip since it is not terribly important to the true message of the speech. It simply sets the stage and therefore can be read more quickly to emphasize its peripheral importance. However, it does serve one rather important purpose. It puts the audience at their ease, or so I hope. It is meant to be, first and foremost, entertaining. It is meant to grab their attention with the use of witticisms and appropriate dramatization (consisting of gestures, facial expressions, etc.). The speakers greatest assets in this section, therefore, are comedic timing and hand motions. Additionally, facial expressions can entertain an audience. When I reference the search for the mens section, for instance, I roll my eyes. This is meant, as are the other gestures and pauses that I employ, to put the audience in a receptive,

calm, peaceful mood. If they feel entertained as well as informed, they will be more motivated to really listen to the deeper material later on. The first section ends with the phrase and finally reached my safe haven; the suit department. The second section takes on a gentler, calmer, more serious tone. It is meant to slow things down, and let the audience know that something more important is coming. It is a description of the actual suit section of the store. The descriptions are meant to evoke slight nostalgia in the hearers; to make them feel that this is a rather old place; a place filled with memories. It sets the stage; the curtains can now come up on the main event: the salesmen themselves. Now, the tone once again becomes a little brighter. The hearers are meant to understand that these two gentlemen were anything but somber. They were not conscious of the fact that they were making any lasting impression on me. Rather, they were behaving in a friendly, professional manner while assisting me to procure a suit. There was nothing ceremonial or solemn about it. It was an ordinary, commonplace occurrence. It was just another sale in another store in another shopping center. If everything proceeds as planned, the audience is lulled into a false sense of security. They think that perhaps the speech will never really become anything more than an entertaining story. However, somewhere lurking at the back of their minds is the recollection of the earlier, more solemn section. Almost subconsciously, at this point, they are guessing at where all this might be leading. Their question is answered in the next sentence: As I was leaving, I met the store manager. He asked me if I had found everything alright, and I told him that I had, with the help of James and Johnny. He responded, Oh! Those two, theyre something arent they? Part of the old world. That resonated with me all the way home: Part of the old world.

After this, the speech slows way down. Each sentence is given time to sink in. Liberal use of pauses and deliberate hand gestures will underline the fact that now there is something of significance being communicated. No longer are we in corporate America purchasing textiles. Now were in the land of memory on a quest to rediscover what we once were as Americans. This section is meant to instill feelings of deep and abiding nostalgia in the audience by describing at length how wonderful and rich our culture used to be; not simply an awareness of where weve come but a desire to go back to where we were. It is meant to communicate that things were better when James and Johnny were the norm. We were happier when things were made to last. Aristotles Rhetoric and Poetics, a classical work on the art of rhetoric, informs us that the speakers task when speaking to an audience in an attempt to spur them to action is to convince them that the proposed course of action will bring them the maximum of happiness. That is what this section aims to achieve. It says quite plainly that if we return to our roots of dignity, professionalism, and courtesy, even commonplace occurrences like the purchase of a suit can be a true pleasure. It says that Christmas shopping wouldnt be the nightmare that it is if every salesperson was a James or a Johnny. And it says that we can still go back, because we still have some suit salesmen left. If I delivered the speech effectively, hopefully my audience will be motivated to become social preservationists like James and Johnny; patriots with national pride and a desire to preserve little pieces of our rich American culture. * * *

The Little Guy: Speech Text I was in the Lloyd Center Mall three weeks ago buying a gift card for a friend. Generally I do my very best to ignore the cubic, spinning, advertisement kiosks, but one caught my eye. Or rather, it didnt. What grabbed my attention was the lack of brilliant colors and complex shapes. The ad was a simple white background with a black border and bold black print that read 1. Name three supermodels. 2. Name your childs first grade teacher. Know what really matters. I was interested to see what organization sponsored the ad, but the foot traffic carried me off down toward the food court before I could get a closer look. The ad faded from my memory completely. Portland Oregon is especially well known for two things. One is rain; the other is an unusually high coffee shop per capita ratio. A week after my trip to the mall, I was downtown on a long walk with a friend. During the course of our walk, much to our chagrin, it started pouring down rain. As a result, we were compelled to duck into a Starbucks in the hopes that the deluge would abate. We bought two pumpkin spice lattes, sat down at a corner table, and stared out of the window. I couldnt help but notice that my friend seemed somewhat out of sorts. I asked him if anything was wrong. He told me that he was feeling useless. I asked that he elaborate. He responded with a question. He asked me, John, Ive spent twenty years on this earth. What do I have to show for it? My siblings are all out doing great things with their lives and Im sitting here in Starbucks coffee shop doing nothing. I was suddenly reminded of the advertisement that Id seen during my shopping escapade. I responded Youve been a terrific friend to me; I wouldnt have made it through a lot of stuff without you. However great your brothers and sisters might be, they havent helped me pull through like you have. He told me that that was

exactly what he was afraid of, that he would go to seminary, become a pastor, make a big difference in a small place, and die unknown and unsung. We are all, to some degree, fearful of being a common man. We all want to be great. Everyone wants their name in a history book, or a poem, or a song. However, not all of us have been called to be generals or astronauts or world-renowned musicians. For every great man, there are dozens of nameless heroes who helped him on the path to greatness. During World War II, the air force ran an advertisement on the radio that paid tribute to the men on the ground that Keep em Flying. America had their eyes on the skies. They applauded the flying aces who dueled enemy planes in daring dogfights. However, they disregarded the mechanics and radio operators who kept the pilots safe. So today, Id like to give some credit to the little guy. The one who makes the hardest sacrifice of all; the one who makes the decision to be a good man, not a great man. The one who understands that true greatness sometimes means turning down fame and popularity. The kid with a dream who gives up that dream to be a family man. The Yale grad who refuses a prestigious professorship because it would mean pulling his children out of their school. Thats true heroism. Thats real valor. And thats authentic greatness. Do you want to be great? Then do something for someone else. Novissimi erunt primi, primi erunt novissimi: The first will be last and the last will be first. Step down, and let someone else get their name in the papers. Heres to our unsung heroes, heres to the little men. * * *

The Little Guy: Speech Analysis

This is another speech that, like James and Johnny, starts with a story to get people guessing. This is always an effective way to grab your audiences attention. If you have them guessing at what comes next, they will always be more motivated to pay attention to what you have to say. After the story about the advertisement in the mall, they are curious as to what is coming next. Is this a speech about being a teacher? Will it be about the futility of the modeling industry? Or will it be something deeper? Then I deliberately switch gears. My tone changes, the mood lightens, and things become much more matter of fact. This is consistent with my statement that the ad had faded from my memory. It was no longer a point of interest. I was simply getting coffee with a friend in rainy, downtown Portland. However, the hearer knows perfectly well that the ad is still important, and they are still guessing at its significance as each new bit of the speech unfolds in front of them. Then the fog lifts. Hopefully, they realize the parallel between the two stories. The audience is now aware what the speech is about. Therefore, I have to employ a new tactic to keep their attention. I utilize more variation in tone, more hand gestures, and more elaborate sentence structure. I employ considerably more pathos than is present in the earlier part of the speech. At this point, my mission is to keep the audience listening so that they get the important bit at the end. Then the true moral of the story reveals itself. I employ another story about World War II pilots and the men on the ground. This, in tandem with the advertisement about the elementary school teacher and the story about my dear friend who had made such a big difference in my life, further supported my point that the men on the ground, the little men, are often what make all the difference. The generals and astronauts and world-renowned musicians that we see on

television or in the newspapers are important too, it is true. However, every general has thousands of nameless soldiers fighting at his back. Every astronaut has thousands of men back on earth ensuring that things run smoothly on his spacecraft. Every world renowned musician was taught their trade by a teacher who no one has ever heard of. This is the awareness that I want to try and produce in my audience. At this point, there are those in the body of hearers who feel that I am advocating a submission to mediocrity. I attempt to rectify this misunderstanding immediately. I say that rather than promoting normalcy, I am proposing that our societys view of greatness is somewhat skewed. I propose that perhaps the little men are actually the true heroes. The distinction that I make between goodness and greatness is key to the speech. I propose that it is much harder to do a good thing than a great thing. I posit that it is much braver to give up your hopes and dreams for the benefit of others, than to press onward against the current without any consideration for the people between you and your prize. The takeaway from this speech is simple: do what you feel you are called to do. If you find yourself constantly swimming against the current, theres a good chance that you werent meant to do the thing that youre striving to achieve. Perhaps it wasnt your mission to become the next POTUS. Dont be the person who does everything for public acclaim. Rather, let be the man who goes into his room, closes the door, and performs his good works. That is true greatness. If I convince my hearers of this truism, I will have succeeded in doing what I set out to do in The Little Guy. * * *

Carpe Diem: Speech Text

Imagine, if you will, that you are in the Doctors office for a routine checkup. The doctor comes in, checks your breathing, shines a light in your ear (for reasons you cant quite understand), and frowns ever so slightly. He scribbles something on his clipboard and leaves with a mysterious, Wait here, Ill be back in a moment. He returns five minutes later and asks you to sit down. You do so, with some trepidation. He sits down on the rolling stool, looks into your eyes, and says I have some bad news. You have three months to live; tops. What do you do? Who do you call with your last goodbyes? Do you check as many items off your bucket list as you possibly can before you die? Many people, when faced with this realization, would travel to Chile, buy a Lamborghini, base jump, scuba dive, sky dive, stay in a lot of five star hotels, and eat a lot of meals that are WAY out of their budget. But what would you do? Now, you all dont have the money to buy a sports car and youre all too young to purchase expensive liqueurs. However, you could still react in much the same way. You could try to fill every last moment with a breathtaking experience; with an adventure of epic proportions. You could try to live your life to the fullest! Is this wrong? Certainly not! However, do the thrills of travel and splurch purchases truly fill a life? Is that life to the fullest? We all know the answer to that question; we all know what really fills. Rather than garnering earthly treasures, store up heavenly treasures. Spend time in the word and in the fellowship of believers. Use your last three months to help others rather than to bring yourself the maximum of pleasure. Do the right thing rather than the fun thing. Thats life to the fullest. Now, do we only live that way if we know that we only have three months to live? Clearly not! To utilize a famous platitude, we ought to Live like were dying. Live EVERY day as though it were your last. Make every last minute count, but for God rather than for you!

Carpe diem, translation: seize the day. This philosophy dominates our culture. We are encouraged to take advantage of every possible opportunity to bring ourselves delight and enjoyment. We are called to live as Solomon lived in the second chapter of Ecclesiastes. Solomon, in his search for fulfillment, tested his heart with pleasure. He drank wine in great abundance; he built vineyards, cities, palaces, pools, orchards, and parks. He gained wealth beyond compare and purchased musicians, troubadours, and bards. He garnered a host of concubines. He lived the life. The second chapter of Solomon would make a fantastic reality TV show. The billionaire who has it all DOES it all. It is a combination of Extreme Home Makeover, Trick my Ride, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Why are these shows so popular in our day and age? Because people like to dream; they like to see what they want. It makes it feel more achievable. People want to live like Solomon lived. However, they miss the last part of the chapter. All the delights of the children of men failed to bring Solomon true contentment and fulfillment. They were a chasing after wind and brought no fulfillment. Today, I would like to encourage you to seize the day, but in a radically different way. Rather than seizing every opportunity to do whats fun, seize every opportunity to do what is good. Thats the way to make every moment unforgettable. They say that you dont measure the length of our lives by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away. As Christians, the moments that take our breath away are the moments when we feel closest to God; and we feel closest to God when we walk in his ways. Live the life, by all means: the Christian life that we are called to live. Live life to the fullest; wake up every morning resolved to make today extraordinary. * * *

Carpe Diem: Speech Analysis

This speech was rather difficult to write, in that I had to take something that most people would find quite attractive and present the alternative as more rewarding. I had to take the rock star, millionaire lifestyle and show it to be much less valuable than the self-sacrificing, Christian lifestyle. Admittedly, seeing as I was speaking in a classroom of reformed Christian youths who already believe that true fulfillment is found in the Lord alone, my task was easy. However, in a more secular environment this would have been a much more difficult task. This speech is ultimately an apologetic piece which stipulates that Christianity will bring you more fulfillment than any worldly treasure or experience ever could. The following are some of the devices and strategies that I used to produce the desired effect. Firstly, in my description of the secular good life, I chose to cite the most transient examples of secular hedonism that I could. There are some things (for instance authoring a book) that seem to have meaning in and of themselves without God. However, I used examples of cars, wine, money, food, and extreme sporting adventures. To some, this might make the good life seem empty and pointless. Perhaps even the adrenaline junkie off the streets will feel a twinge of doubt when confronted by such a direct attack on his worldview and lifestyle. He will wonder, if only for a moment, if there might be something more; something that lasts after the final base jump. Additionally, I underline the selfishness of this mad quest for pleasure. Meals that are way outside of his budget and thousand dollar bottles of wine along with Lamborghinis and the like drain your resources incredibly quickly. They could have been used for something more meaningful, and instead they are thrown to the winds in order to procure a few minutes of fleeting pleasures. This causes the hearer to realize that he is not only living an empty life, but a selfish and irresponsible one.

At this point, my goal has been to create doubts in the mind of my listener. If I have succeeded (through the use of word choice, emphasis on transience, and exposure of underlying selfishness) up till this point, the listener is looking for an alternative. Our basic instinct when we are drowning is to look for a life preserver. As the speaker, this puts you in an advantageous position since you get to pick which life preserver your audience reaches for once you throw them into a troubled ocean of doubt and misgiving. I throw them the life preserver of Christianity. I propose a Christian life of sacrifice and closeness with God to be the most filling and meaningful life. I posit that perhaps it is better to do what is right than what seems fun at the time. I propose that that is the way to gain true fullness and happiness. Those are much deeper, more fulfilling experiences than are the adrenaline-rush-inducing activities enumerated earlier in the speech. Hopefully, they take the life preserver and hang on for the last section of the speech. The only trouble with this strategy is that anyone who chooses to refuse the preserver stops listening and starts musing on other things. However, the few that stick around will hopefully be anxious to hear the end. I close with a proof of the futility of the pleasures of this world as a means for achieving any true happiness. I cite Solomons testing his heart with pleasure in the second chapter of Ecclesiastes. I use many examples of pleasures that Solomon enjoyed; ones that would appeal to a modern American audience (for example fine food, luxurious palaces, fine entertainment, beautiful women, etc.). I then proceeded to compare his experience to a game show. While at first this may have appeared to be a simple witticism, it actually aimed to strike deeper. It was meant to demonstrate that our culture has made an idol out of all the pleasures that Solomon enjoyed. Money and glamor are what everybody seems to want, so much so that theyre made temporarily content by watching other people procure them. However, then the true point of this

section drives home. What did Solomon discover about all the joys of the children of men? It was all vanity, and a chasing after wind. Most people feel like if they can just get a little more, then theyll be happy. Wrong. This man had every earthly pleasure that anyone could ask for, and was ultimately left empty. I end with a final exhortation. I encourage the listener to life their life to the fullest, but in a different way than the rest of the world. I propose that life to the fullest isnt about what you can buy. Rather, its about the God who loves you and who you ought to love in return. If I succeeded earlier in exposing the glamour life as a sham, the listener ought to at the very least listen to what I have to say and perhaps, if God so choose, make a decision there and then to start living the life that God would have them live. * * *

What this Paper has Taught Me This paper taught me many interesting things about rhetoric. The two most valuable lessons that I learned are these: always know your audience, and be careful to write a speech rather than an essay. Knowing your audience is key. Aristotles Rhetoric features an entire chapter on audience analysis. Rebecca Pope-Ruark, professor of public speaking at Georgia South writes, As the teachings of Aristotle, Cicero, and St. Augustine have showed, knowing your audience is crucial to developing and delivering effective communication (Pope-Ruark, Helping Students Engage a Threshold Concept Using Audience-Based Pedagogy). I attempted to do this in my four speeches. For instance, knowing that I would be presenting these speeches to a panel of adults made up of St. Stephens faculty and teachers, I referenced Scripture and Christian tradition very frequently. However, if I had been speaking to a predominantly atheistic

group, this would have been manifestly unwise to do. The speaker must be careful to not state his own opinions so brashly that he offends the sensibilities of a hearer or group of hearers. This is insensitive and ruins any ethos that the speaker might hold. Admittedly, one ought not to be a people pleaser but nor should one be caustic or belligerent in their public addresses. Another consideration that I made with my target audience in mind was the more serious tone that I utilized. St. Stephens is a scholarly school grounded in classical tradition. Humor and wit have a place in a speech, but in a traditional environment like St. Stephens a more formal tone is more likely to make your hearers well-disposed to listen to you. In Aristotles Rhetoric and Poetics, he emphasizes Ethos very heavily. If the audience believes that the speaker is immoral, foolish, or unqualified to speak to the subject that he has chosen, they will not listen to what he has to say. The moral: Know thine audience. Secondly, it is important to write a speech rather than an essay. There is a sort of phraseology that is utilized in scholarly writing, and a certain kind that is used in public speaking. Both have their place, but they ought not to be mixed. As the old Buddhist proverb goes, Mixing beef stew and fertilizer ruins them both. This became especially apparent to me when I read my speeches out loud to prepare for the actual presentation. Some of my favorite paragraphs on paper were by far my least favorite out loud. Many sounded pretentious bordering on arrogant. Admittedly, if I were a high ranking government official making an address to Congress, a loftier tone would be more appropriate. However, with my presentational context in mind, my speeches were not written as speeches. Rather, they were written as editorials. However, I revised these sections without too much difficulty, using word choice and syntax more fitting to an oratorical presentation.

This was a valuable exercise for me. I believe very strongly that it made me a better speaker, and a more proficient speech-writer. I learned important lessons about language and its immense power. After I delivered The Little Guy, a classmate approached me and told me that it had brought tears to their eyes and really made them see things differently. This incident was what prompted me to choose the power of language as my thesis topic. Even I, a high school student in a classroom environment, was able to make a small difference in someones life. Language has awesome power. It can build, tear down, cut, mend, enforce, or weaken. We, as Christians, are called to use our words wisely. In Ephesians 4:29, Paul adjures the church in Ephesus thusly, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Let us be careful to heed his warnings. This paper has made me more zealous to be careful to use words constructively. I have had a great deal of firsthand experience of their efficacy and influence. This has been a valuable lesson not only in public oratory, but in day to day interactions with friends, classmates, and teachers. * * *

And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. James 3:1-12

Works Cited:

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